Who wrote Football’s Coming Home and what does it mean?


    England fans cheering
    Could ‘football come home’ this time around? (Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

    Either you love to chant it, or you get sick to the back teeth of hearing it.

    Regardless of your stance, you can’t get away from the fact that people believe football might be coming home during the 2022 World Cup – after the Lionesses’ stunning Euro 2022 win against Germany and the Three Lions reaching the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

    No doubt at some point during the 2022 World Cup, this iconic chant will be heard.

    The slogan has been around for a while now – but who wrote the song, and what does it actually mean?

    Here is everything you need to know about one of England’s favourite footy songs.

    Who wrote Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)?

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    Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) is a song by David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, and performed with the band The Lightning Seeds.

    It was written in 1996 and was the official England song of Euro 96.

    It is one of only three songs to top the British charts more than once with lyric variants, the others being Mambo No. 5, and Do They Know It’s Christmas?

    It topped the UK singles chart both on its initial release and during the 2018 World Cup where England reached the semi-finals.

    A 2022 version of the track has also been released – specifically for the winter World Cup in Qatar – with the title changed to Three Lions (It’s Coming Home For Christmas).

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    With the World Cup just kicking off, the tune has yet to land into the singles’ chart top 100 (at the time of writing).

    What does ‘football’s coming home’ mean?

    Generally, the lyrics talk about football coming home to refer to the fact that football games as we know them originated in Britain.

    If they were to win the World Cup trophy, England brings it back to its metaphorical birthplace.

    The guys talk of 30 years of hurt (now have 55 years of hurt behind us) and how they ‘still believe’, though England’s men’s squad have not won an international trophy since the World Cup in 1966.

    The 2022 version also refers to the fact that this year’s World Cup is happening in November and December, and suggests the England men’s side are just ‘jinxed in July’.

    Baddiel and Skinner in the Three Lions music video.
    Baddiel and Skinner and The Lightning Seeds are behind track Football’s Coming Home (Picture: YouTube)

    The newest version of the track also directly references the warmer climate in Qatar, as well as bigging up the England women’s side taking home the Women’s Euro trophy earlier this year.

    And, of course, there are a few festive Christmas references in there, too.

    Hopes were high back in July 2021 as England reached the Euro 2020 final with Italy.

    Both teams scored one goal apiece, but England lost out on penalties in the end, despite a 4-0 victory against Ukraine in the quarter-final and 2-1 against Denmark in the semi.

    England did not conceded a single goal during their time in the tournament until the semi-final, and more than 20 million people tuned in to watch their 2-0 victory over Germany.

    Ahead of the quarter final fixture against Ukraine, Frank Skinner appeared to get emotional when playing the song on the radio.

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